Updated on Wednesday, April 6, 2011 at 11:28PM by rebecca
And another book giveaway. See bottom of the post for details.
From The Atonement: Its Meaning and Significance by Leon Morris, this is a summary list from the chapter on the term sacrifice used of the atoning work of Christ. These are a few things that are highlighted regarding the meaning of the cross when we view it as a sacrifice:
- Sin is defiling. In an ancient sanctuary everything was arranged to put emphasis on the holiness of God. Even ceremonial faults were seen as defiling and sin was much more so. Sin stained the worshipper and made him unclean. Sin meant that he was not fir to approach the holy God.
- Purification. When a sacrifice was offered the worshipper was cleansed. Whether it was a ceremonial defilement of a moral lapse, the offering of sacrifice was seen as purging the sin so that the worshipper was now in a state of purification. His sin was completely removed.
- The death of the victim counts. In a sacrifice the blood must be manipulated in prescribed ways and part or all of the animal must be burnt on the altar. All this speaks of the necessity for death, nothing less, if sin is to be put away. Sin is not some trifle, to be airily dismissed with no effort. Sin means death (Ezk. 18:4; Rom. 6:23) and nothing less suffices to take it away.
- Salvation is at cost. David showed an insight into the meaning of sacrifice when he said to Araunah, ‘I will not sacrifice to the Lord my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing’ (2 Sa. 24:24). The use of the terminology of sacrifice means that the way of forgiveness is costly.It is not until we come to the death of Jesus on the cross that we can see the full meaning of costliness. But inherent in the concept is that forgiveness comes only at cost.
- Spiritual sacrifices. The New Testament writers look for a reponse to the sacrifice of Christ. The believer must offer himself as a living sacrifice, which certainly means that his whole way of life is to be different because of what Christ has done for him. The sacrifice of Christ means that the way of salvation is free; but it does not mean that it is cheap.
This is one of my all time favorite books and one I’d put in the must-read for every Christian category, along with, for instance, Knowing God by J. I. Packer. You can read my review on Amazon here.
Since I have still more Amazon earnings to spend, I’m giving away one copy of The Atonement: Its Meaning and Significance. To enter the draw, click through to fill out the entry form.